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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971)

Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971) A psychological chiller rarely mentioned, Let's Scare pre-dates some of horror's most influential films, allowing it to walk its own path. While it does have that 1970s horror film atmosphere, the movie only plays mind games with the namesake character and ultimately the viewer. The emotional mess Jess has recently left a mental hospital. She, her husband and a pal move to a big house in rural Connecticut, where Jess starts seeing things and hearing voices. It's not clear if all the images she sees are real or in her mind. Meanwhile, they are acquainted with a woman who they find already living in the house. She turns out to be either a vampire, a ghost or just a sick and twisted drifter who strums a stringed instrument with audio dubbed over it (yikes!). In the early 70s this must have spooked people, but with a lack of meaning and no closure, the film--even with its moments of suspense--comes up short in its attempt to scare. [rating: $5] -Kenyon

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